Engine Woes Cause Heartbreak For Gavin At Spa

It seems that 2009 is not destined to offer up victory for Oliver Gavin in a 24-hour race, unlike in so many other years in the racing driver’s illustrious career. After being in contention for the lead for nearly 22 of the 24 hours at the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium this weekend, engine failure prevented the Briton and his Belgian SRT team from seeing the challenge through to the chequered flag. After a very lengthy stop in the garage, the Corvette C6.R was able to complete one lap at the end of the race in order to be classified in xx place.

The 36-year-old Corvette Racing driver was undoubtedly a star of the Spa show – not just within the SRT team, but within the race as a whole. After taking the start from 5th place on the grid, it took Oliver just 15 laps to get into the lead. Whenever on the track, the Northamptonshire-based driver was consistently quickest, and set fastest lap of the race in the 14th hour.

Oliver commented afterwards, “I’m desperately disappointed for the whole SRT team who made such a fantastic effort this week. They are a very small, family-run operation but they did a really great job here running the Corvette C6.R which is an unbelievable car. Before the race I think a lot of people were looking at them and asking if they were sure they could run a front-running car but they’ve proven they can run at the front with the best. Their pit stops were excellent and they did an awful lot within the confines of their resources.

Despite the result , I really enjoyed the race and had a lot of fun. Spa’s a fast track so you really had to work at getting past people, and had to think hard about where you were going to do it. I kept finding spots and places to pass, then would think “oh, that worked well, I’ll try that again”. Strategy came into it all the way, the different weather conditions, fuel loads, whether you had new tyres on or not and so on. It’s good to have to think that hard and then see the right results!

Up until the 22nd hour there were three of us all racing against each other for the lead and it was really close. I was in the car for a double stint as Saturday turned into Sunday and up against Pedro Lamy in the #2 Maserati for quite a while and then we raced again in the morning. We’d have newer, fresher tyres and would catch up with him and pass, then he’d pit and we’d be dicing again for the lead; it was great battling, very close and fair.

If SRT couldn’t win, then I’m pleased that the all-Belgian Peka Racing Corvette won. Well done to them. It’s a great way to sign off the GT1 Corvette into the endurance racing history books.”

26th July 2009

For further media information contact Fiona Miller on +44 7770 371332 or email to f.miller@btinternet.com


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